The 20th Annual Ladder Competition

by Andrew Gigacz

It’s back and promises to be BIGGER than ever. It’s the internationally acclaimed (well, my brother said it was good, and he lives in Malaysia) LADDER COMPETITION. It’s the comp that requires you to do no more than to write down (or type) the names of the 16 AFL teams ONCE for the ENTIRE season. How easy is that?

Oh, and you do have pay $5 to enter. But look what you get for that $5:

a mind-bogglingly confusing weekly email, complete with bad puns, stupid stats and ridiculous comments

a weekly update on how your ladder is going against the REAL ladder AND everybody else’s

your chance to pit yourself against the ladders of “so called experts” from the various media

ladders from obscurely named “celebrities” such as Yrag Legov, Chance Fateman and Benjamin Button

your chance to win hundreds of dollars!

But don’t take my word for it, listen to what some of last year’s “ladderists” had to say about this comp:

“As good as anything I have seen” LC

“Great stuff” TI

“Have I paid, yet?” MP

“If you only enter one ladder competition this year it’ll probably be this one” AG

“I just don’t know how you keep coming up with this stuff” PS

“You must have a lot of time on your hands” DC

“You are one damaged piece of meat” JW

“Always entertaining and informative!” DC

“You’ve lost me again” JW

“Have you got a hankie?” EG

Oh, sorry. That last one was what my mum used to say to me most mornings as I left for school.

“But I’d be no good at this”

Don’t be so sure. Last year’s winner was a first time entrant!

“So when do I have to submit my ladder by?”

All ladders need to be submitted prior to the start of the season which is on THURSDAY MARCH 25th at 7:10PM. That’s tomorrow night folks. But I’ve heard of certain religious groups building entire churches in a day. So putting 16 teams in order should be achievable, even for you – whoever you are!

Get cracking! And tell your friends and family to send one in too!

LADDERS CAN BE EMAILED TO [email protected]. Details on how to pay will then be forwarded to you.


The format of the comp remains the same as ever. For those of you who are newcomers, a detailed description of how it works appears further down the page (see “LADDER COMP 101”). The inherent beauty of this competition is, of course, the fact that entrants need to submit their ladders once only prior to the season starting, before sitting back and relaxing and observing the weekly progress of their efforts. It’s a kind of “set-it-and-forget-it” footy tipping comp.

As always the entry fee is $5 per person, to be received as early as possible in the season, with prizes to be distributed amongst the top three place-getters (50%, 35% and 15% of the pool respectively), after the lucky wooden-spooner receives their money back. Payment can be made to me in person or anybody can deposit directly into my bank account. (These details will be provided to entrants who email me their ladder at [email protected].)

LADDER COMP 101 – A basic rundown for those who’ve never before partaken.

The object of this game is to predict the full AFL ladder as you believe it will look at season’s end. By “season’s end”, we are referring to the POST-GRAND FINAL ladder. This obviously means the winner of the GF in position number one, with loser in second-place. Positions 3-8 are determined by the official AFL method, in which the losers in each of the first three weeks of the finals are placed 7th and 8th, 5th and 6th, and 3rd and 4th. The ladder position as at Round 22 decides which of the two teams finishes in the higher spot in each of those three weeks.  Positions 9-16 obviously don’t change after Round 22.

All you need to do is submit the 16 teams in the order you believe they will finish. A score will then be allocated based on the difference between your ladder and the actual ladder. For example if you select Essendon to finish 7th and they finish 11th, you will have 4 points (11 minus 7) awarded “against” you. This is done for each team and your score totalled. Using this method the lower your score, the better you are doing. A perfect ladder, with all 16 teams in their correct positions will achieve a score of zero.

As a guide, the 2009 scores ranged from 32 (the winner) to 88 (wooden-spooner), although these can very from year to year depending on unexpected rises and falls by the various teams.

I will endeavour to provide weekly updates via email so you can track the progress of your ladder against other experts.

Q & A

I’ve probably forgotten to mention something so please email me at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Please pass this email on to anyone who might be interested in joining in. All welcome.

In the mean time happy laddering.



About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?

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